Southern Utah University's Semester Abroad in Peru with Intern Abroad HQ.

Looking for an internship abroad where you can upskill, travel and hone your Spanish language ability? look no further than an internship in Peru - Cusco!

Southern Utah University has teamed up with Intern Abroad HQ to provide customized semester abroad internship programs that not only expand Spanish language skills for students, but also deliver cultural immersion and work experience. This comprehensive study abroad program provides students with an unforgettable opportunity to enhance their job-ready skills!

In this guest blog, SUU students Kaleigh Rasmussen, Caelyn Hart, Jackson Hill and Alexa Smith share their experiences and offer insight into what future students can expect…

Southern Utah University's daILY internship role in Peru with Intern Abroad HQ.

What did your day to day internship role consist of?

“During my internship I facilitated short-term growth by brainstorming new content ideas for my host organizations’ social media and website, edited the grammar on their website, updated the functionality and aesthetics of the website, interacted with consumers on social media and ensured that all content was search engine optimized. In the long-term, this meant that their website looked more professional and got more traffic, their social media account gained a bigger following, and consumers gained more trust/brand loyalty for the company. This, in turn, converted consumers into clients, generated more income for the company, and allowed them to grow and become more involved in the community.”
- Alexa Smith, Marketing & Communications intern in Peru


“My internship was at an after school program in Cusco Peru. I was able to work in child development, and at the same time, I was able to practice and expand my Spanish skills. I was able to plan and carry out lessons both in English and Spanish which helped me develop confidence as a Spanish speaker and insight to the development of children and how they learn. I learnt how to work in a group and how small companies and organizations work. I loved learning about how charitable organizations work, and how I can personally play a role in that.”
- Caelyn Hart, Youth Development & Education intern in Peru


“When I traveled to Cusco my main goal was to improve my Spanish and be immersed in a new culture. I’d never lived outside of Utah before this experience so it was a big step in my personal development. While I was there I volunteered at an afterschool program for kids. This work was important to me because at the time, many schools in Peru hadn’t been open for 2 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The after school program was the only thing these kids had to learn and spend time with their peers. My day to day involved having classes, helping with homework, and playing with the children. I think one of the most important things I did while I was interning was provide more structure. My biggest takeaway from the internship would be the ability to communicate effectively. When I first arrived my Spanish level was very small and it was a big challenge for me to understand what the kids needed and how I could communicate effectively with them. This challenge provided me with an opportunity to learn creative ways to communicate effectively.”
- Kaleigh Rasmussen, Youth Development & Education intern in Peru

Southern Utah University's adapting to a different culture in Peru with Intern Abroad HQ.

How did you find adapting to a different culture?

“Going into the internship I thought I would be overwhelmed by the culture shock but I found that I get used to new human experiences very quickly. I have come out of this experience with a better understanding of how people are the same rather than how we are different. Although I didn’t speak the local language, there was still an understanding that comes with gestures, laughter, and the twinkle in somebody’s eye. The most memorable moment so far has been this realization that although we may not understand each other’s language there is a deeper understanding throughout humanity that can be tuned into. While I know this is no substitute for language, it has been interesting to attempt to overcome that barrier in new and creative ways.”
- Kaleigh Rasmussen


“I have found that people here always say good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, so I have started responding in kind, whereas before, I would not go out of my way to greet everyone I pass. Peruvian time is also about 10-20 minutes after the time they say things are at (e.g. a meeting set for 12 pm will not actually start until 12:15 or so), so it has actually been nice to not be in such a hurry. I also did not think we would be eating dinner as a family together every night, but we do, so that has also been an enjoyable departure from my normal routine.”
- Alexa Smith


“I thought that the food was going to be a shock for me, and that I was going to miss all of the food I could have back home, but I was wrong. The food here is so good, and it is so fun to try different meals! We already got invited to dinner with some coworkers, and have gone salsa dancing and to a bar with others. Everyone is awesome!”
- Caelyn Hart

Southern Utah University's overall internship experience in Peru with Intern Abroad HQ.

How did you find your internship experience overall?

“One of my major long term goals is to be fluent in Spanish and work in Pediatrics. When I first arrived in Peru I was super nervous to teach English classes because I couldn’t understand the children very well and I had never taught before. I was prepared to spend a long time everyday preparing lessons for, but as I started teaching, I realized it is more laid back than I assumed. I was able to just talk and help the children learn English. This went a long way in helping me learn how best to communicate with children and understand what they want and need. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to improve my Spanish and develop my communication skills. I have been able to use a ton of my Spanish skills and even though it was nerve racking, it was a great experience and made me more confident.”
- Caelyn Hart


“In the future I would like to get involved in regenerative agriculture. There are lots of regenerative agriculture projects going on in South America and to be a part of those I would need to be able to speak Spanish fluently. This internship has helped me achieve that goal by exposing me to the Spanish language everyday and giving me the opportunity to use the things that I’ve learned in everyday interactions with the children I worked with. It also supports my problem solving skills. When working with children you need to be able to solve problems quickly and efficiently. I think this is a skill that could be applied to any career.”
- Kayleigh Rasmussen


“My experience has been amazing! The room at my homestay was big and cozy which was a really nice surprise and I adjusted much better than I thought I would. Right from the beginning I felt good about getting to work, school and what my responsibilities were. Peruvian time was a lot more relaxed and it was nice to not be in a hurry all the time. I also did not think we would eat dinner as a family together every night, but we did and it was a really enjoyable experience. I have gained a greater understanding in the field of marketing while also practicing my Spanish language skills. Marketing is applicable to just about every career field there is, so I have learned many important aspects that can be carried over into any future career. Similarly I have learnt about the importance of SEO, Google Analytics, and responsive websites, and will continue to develop my knowledge about those things moving forward.”
- Alexa Smith

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Southern Utah University's most significant personal highlight in Peru with Intern Abroad HQ.

What were the most significant personal highlights from your time in Peru?

“My favorite memory from my internship experience was driving back to the school after visiting the city center with the children. They were all happy and full and exhausted. Half of them were asleep and the other half almost asleep. It was a special moment because I was able to provide them with an experience that they wouldn’t have experienced otherwise, and that made me so happy. Coming away from my internship I feel empowered within my field as a supporter and a friend. Often all the children needed was a friend and supporter. Sometimes people just need a safe place to talk and figure things out. I am grateful that I could be that person for so many people during my internship.”
- Caelyn Hart


“My favorite memory from my internship experience was how excited the kids would get about everything we did with them. Whether it was jump rope, painting, learning English, or making crafts they would be so happy to do all of it. One of my favorite memories is when I was drawing with the kids and they were sitting on my lap and trying to draw princesses from my phone. When they were doing it they were so happy and content with everything in that moment. I feel like their child-like excitement taught me so much.”
- Kaleigh Rasmussen


“The relationships I made with my colleagues, other interns and host family was a massive highlight. The Latin American culture is so welcoming and the people I met really became family. Wherever I felt homesick, everyone’s support really made Cusco feel like a home away from home. Before I left, I was thrown a leaving party which was so humbling. Another highlight was experiencing the sights and sounds of Peru, particularly my backpacking trip to Machu Picchu. My guide was amazing and I learnt so much about the area’s history while basking in its beauty.”
- Jackson Hill


“I think the thing that has been most memorable for me has been the breakthroughs I have had while interning. I have come across multiple stumbling blocks when going about my day to day tasks, but overcome each one with a little time, research, and collaboration. I feel proud of my contributions to the marketing team during my time abroad.”
- Alexa Smith

Advice for future interns looking to go to Peru with Intern Abroad HQ.

What advice would you give someone thinking of participating in a similar experience and why should they make it happen?

“One piece of advice I would share with a future intern who is heading into a culturally diverse setting would be to be patient. It can be scary learning a new language and even scarier trying to communicate with people who don’t speak the same language as yourself. It is important to remember that you are learning and people that you communicate with are learning as well. Be kind to yourself and relax. It isn’t as scary as it seems, and you can do it!”
- Caelyn Hart


“One piece of advice I would share with a future intern who is heading into a culturally diverse setting would be to not let fear hold you back. Don’t let the fear of messing something up stop you from trying. You are going to mess up! It’s just a part of life. You can choose to learn from the mistakes that you made and be better in the future or you can choose to give up and not try again. I would say that the thing I most commonly mess up on is conjugating words. Yesterday I was trying to say “We didn’t know that” but I accidently said “you don’t know.” I realized my mistake and laughed it off while the other person still knew what I meant. Instead of getting discouraged by this I chose to learn from it and laugh it off.”
- Kaleigh Rasmussen


“I would tell them to go into the internship with very few expectations and be very open to going with the flow. I would encourage them to immerse themselves in the culture by observing and absorbing as much of it as possible. If they have questions, they should ask a trusted source like their host family, coworker, or supervisor to prevent an intercultural misunderstanding. They should be willing to adapt to the cultural standards of both the society of their internship as a whole and the work culture of the internship itself.”
- Alexa Smith


“I would 100% recommend an internship abroad to anyone! It was such a fantastic experience and as soon as the opportunity became available to gain valuable work experience, all while traveling abroad, I couldn’t not jump at the opportunity. Often when these opportunities arise, it is too easy to turn them down and convince yourself that going somewhere unknown is just too hard. But once you’re there, it is easy to understand why pushing yourself is worth it. I have such a better understanding of other cultures, perspectives and relationships and an even greater passion to learn and grow. Take a chance and go in with open eyes.”
- Jackson Hill


Southern Utah University apply to intern and adventure in Peru with Intern Abroad HQ.

How can I get started?

Now that you’ve gained an insight into what an incredible experience SUU students gained in Cusco, Peru, it’s time to start your own life changing internship abroad! Talk to our expert team to get started or apply online. Applying takes just a few minutes and is just a formal expression of interest – so there’s no commitment needed at this stage.

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190+ internship programs across 20 countries

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